Georgette Kaplan has such a unique way of telling a story. I love it! Her characters are dynamic, witty and absolutely zany. She rights at a fast-paced that take a bit to settle into but once you do, time just whizzes right by.
Elizabeth Smile is our main character from this one. If you can remember back to Kaplan’s second book, Scissor Link, Elizabeth was Janet Lace’s administrative assistant. (PS you don’t have to read that one to read this one, this is a stand-alone) The book starts off with a flashback to college when she had a hook-up with her roommate Michelle Harlow. Michelle had Elizabeth’s heart and didn’t even know it. That short fling has been one of the catalysts for Elizabeth never settling down and staying far away from a commitment longer than an evening or two.
So of course, Michelle comes back into her life almost a decade later. Why, well she needs Elizabeth to pretend to be her girlfriend as she is going through a messy divorce. Husband had a threesome and now she wants him to get none of their millions. EEK! Nothing good can come of this idiotic plot and it doesn’t help that Michelle is kind of a douche bag. I’m not kidding I was actually terrified that this was a love story between Elizabeth and Michelle because I wanted to scream, hell no, run away, Liz, run far, far away. Spoiler alert: It’s not. Whew!
Anne, she is an amazing character. She brings so much fun to this book. Anne is Michelle’s sister and Elizabeth meets her at the Harlow family home in Ohio. Michelle needs Elizabeth to help her sell the story to all parties involved including her siblings. One sibling in skeptical and is not afraid to hide her opinion. Anne’s dynamic with Elizabeth is by far the best aspect of this book. (hide spoiler)]
My final thoughts are this. Kaplan writes zany, humor-filled books. Her characters have that biting, sarcastic humor that I adore but I know many folks that do not. There is a lot going on with this book. The supporting characters and their issues can be somewhat distracting. If you overlook that one issue and can just focus on Elizabeth and Anne, the book is so much fun. A true breath of fresh air. I really, really liked it. I think you will see reviews for this one all over the place. My advice it this, if you liked Kaplan’s other works you will most likely like this one too. This is not a serious book at all! It’s self-deprecating, zany, full of witty a*hole comments and just a bit twisty. So I totally liked it!
4 out of 5 stars
Jae, she does it every time. What does she do? She writes a damn good book, that’s what she does. Every single time I am just floored by the work she puts out. I loved her newest novel, Just for Show. Loved, loved, loved it. A classic romance that does everything perfectly!
Dr. Claire Renshaw has her life perfectly mapped out. Claire has a thriving career, her book is complete, she is next in line to take over the counseling practice and she has a gorgeous and successful fiancé. Life according to Claire is going splendidly. Well, that is until Abby, her soon to be wife, tells her its just not working anymore. I love you but I’m not in love with you anymore. Inset mega-sized dagger right into Claire’s ego. So what would this relationship guru who needs to have her book published ASAP do? Well, hire a Hollywood actress to fill in of course.
Lana Henderson is a starving artist. She has had a well-paying acting gig in two years. Of course, during that time she has been recovering from a near-fatal car accident that has left her with mental and physical scars. Lana takes a chance on Claire’s proposal, because how the hell else is she going to pay these ridiculous medical bills that just keep coming.
The premise of this story is not new. You have seen films with Hollywood A-listers and romance books galore that have had this same idea of a relationship for hire. Not new, but so very good. What is so great about this book is that the main characters are dynamic and adorable. Not to mention the chemistry between them is sizzling hot. Its a fun read and I adored my time with it! You can always count on Jae to give a quality book. Every. single. time.
5 out of 5 stars
Basically, I started writing this blog as a cathartic way of getting my feelings out about what I. So many times, especially after Kindle Unlimited unrolled, I would read a great review, purchase a book and then go WTF. So many bad book suggestions by Amazon and so much money wasted. A few months ago, I get nailed by a reader on the blog, just ranting at me about a bad review and how mean and awful of a person I was. That book was special to her and how dare I claim that it was not an amazing, fabulous read. It wasn’t that bad a review either, 3 stars actually. To me, the book was not to my taste and I pointed out the reasons, always trying to be fair but honest. Why I’m saying this is in such a convoluted way is that it’s funny, awesome and so fascinating to me how some books can be one person’s treasure and another person was like blah, next, please.
Bait and Switch by Blythe H. Warren is one of those books that I went in with high hopes and came out on the other side wondering what did I miss. By no means a lacking book, but I did not resound with me personally. My biggest reason, I did not really connect with the main character, Liv. I for the life of me could not see why Mira would be interested in her, other than being good at her job, character wise she was flat and uninteresting. I felt like as the reader I was supposed to already get and like Liv. Other than working at an aquarium, and a love for beer, I don’t know much more about her. The book is told from her POV so I would hope to have more understanding of this character and what makes her tick.
Just because Bait and Switch wasn’t my cup of tea and Liv wasn’t the protagonist of my dreams doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t read this author again. I absolutely would. Thanks for reading my rant!
3 out of 5 stars
Jeannie Levig knows how to develop a character. She weaves her story around her protagonists and draws you right into the amazingness of her stories. I’m never sure where I am going to go, what I’ll read and I can never predict the ending. Levig keeps me guessing throughout the whole book and I love her for it. Romance tends to follow formulas, that’s just how it goes in this genre, but Levig definitely doesn’t play by the rule and loves to add a curveball here and there. My goodness, I adore that about her writing!
Jessie Weldon returns to her hometown after spending two decades away. The ending of her marriage forces her to accept that she needs to go back and face the demons of her childhood. Jessie accepts a temporary teaching position at the local high school. She has all but accepted the fate that she will have to face her former crush and the source of a lot of pair Coach Dakota Scott.
Dakota comes from the wealthiest family in the town. Townspeople believe the Scott’s are above the rest and their money can buy them out of anything, even murder. Yeah, the plot thickens. What most people don’t know is that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be aa s Scott. Most folks don’t know that the Scott matriarch, Dakota’s mother has schizophrenia. This face has left more scars than anyone can ever imagine and holds a key to what happened that dark night that forever changed the life of both Dakota and Jessie.
Dakota and Jessie face each other, bringing old wounds to the forefront. They both know that that night permanently altered the course of their lives and forever changed them. Delving into the past and accepting the repercussions are the only way either of them can move forward. Add to it that they are both outrageously attracted to each other and you add a whole added dimension to their story.
This is a fantastic story of human emotions, failed pasts and that love can conquer all. Levig does it again with bringing you an amazing story that grips you to the last page. You cannot go wrong with this one.
4.25 out of 5 stars
I grabbed a handful of books from Bella Books over the New Year’s holiday. Visiting Hours by Tagan Shepard was one of their books that I had meant to pick up months ago but never got around to it. I am so glad I picked this one up. It was a fabulous read that I just adored!
Dr. Alison Reynolds is a professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University. Al is a stubborn, opinionated, at times exasperating character. I was entertained by her, rooted for her but a few times wanted to hand her duct tape for her mouth. She is definitely a spirited character! Alison spends her time divided between her responsibilities teaching, researching and visiting her bestie, Beth, in the hospital. Beth is having a medical crisis where her blood is attacking her unborn child. She has been admitted to the antepartum unit at VCU’s hospital to be monitored by Dr. Jess Baker.
Jess is an obstetrician that recently relocated to Richmond via Portland. She is a highly skilled doctor, one that was heavily recruited to transform VCU’s women’s health wing. Jess doesn’t fit your typical doctor mold. She’s heavily tattooed and sports a faux hawk. Needless to say, Alison immediately takes a disliking to the good doctor.
What I loved about this book is that is not a hate to love romance, more like I’m going to dislike you a bit cause I’m super scared and a bit judgy and you are going to win me over because you are super nice and caring. The relationship grows over the course of bumping into each other time and time again both inside and outside the hospital. They’re very different characters in personality and it works. Jess is a nerdy gamer with a free spirit temperament. Ali is more conservative, focused academic with a bit of chip on her shoulder. Their chemistry is explosive and hot!
This is a great book from Tagan Shepard, I can’t believe this was her debut novel. Her next book, I will not even hesitate for a minute before picking it up.
4 out of 5 stars
Sooooo, I read Melissa Brayden’s newest book, Hearts like Hers. OMGeezy, let me tell you something, Melissa Brayden is a true romance badass. This book is everything. E V E R Y T H I N G! I could throw out adjectives for greatness all day long and it still wouldn’t be enough. The queen of romance has dazzled me yet again, and I cannot thank her enough for it. Brayden doesn’t just write a love story, she writes an epic love story!
Hearts like Hers focuses on Autumn Primm, the owner of The Cat’s Pajamas coffee shop. Autumn is witty, she’s sarcastic and an all-around adorable character. She has spent her life up until now completely learning the coffee trade and now running her small business. An invitation to her ex-girlfriend, Olivia’s, wedding hit Autumn especially hard. Not for the fact that she has any residual feelings for her former lover, no, that ship has sailed. What she feels is more the loss of a chance, she has let her love life evaporate while she has been solely focused on business. So she forces herself to watch the ex get hitched and comes to the conclusion its time to have a child, she’s going to take that next step in life even though she has not found her Mrs. Right.
Kate Carpenter is the newest residence at the Seven Shores apartment complex. She has taken a two-month hiatus from her job fighting fires in a small sleepy town in Oregon. She needed to get away. Kate was in the right place at the right time to save two small children from a house fire, but it wasn’t without pain and suffering for everyone involved. Touted as the town’s hero, Kate wants anything but the attention. She heads to Venice for some rest, relaxation and far away from anyone that will call her a hero.
This book, to me, deviates from the Brayden formula just enough. Now, I have never been one to knock said formula because to me it works and it works exceptionally well. There is a reason that readers drop everything for these books, they are time and time again outstanding reads. What I’m saying is this book is captivating and keeps you on your toes. The slight change up works but even more than that it’s just about two fabulous characters that have so much chemistry. I’m talking chemistry for days. Big and bold smoldering chemistry! This book is hot and sexy, with all the wit and spark you expect from the master of dialogue. Brayden stepped up to the plate with this one, she pointed her bat Babe Ruth style into the grandstands, and nails that sucker out of the park. This is a true romance that does every single thing to perfection. Every. Single. Thing! Once again Melissa Brayden stands at the top. She unequivocally is the queen of romance.
All the stars!!!
Gerri Hill is a phenomenal writer. I love her books and have read almost everything she has published. What I love most about Hill’s writing is she sets the scene perfectly. In The Secret Pond, I felt as if though I could truly see the landscape of Leakey, Texas. She described it perfectly, Hill transported you right into one of the most beautiful places in the vast state of Texas.
There’s going to be a but now. While the setting for the book was perfect, the romance was not. Our two main protagonists in the story have been dealt horrific losses. Lindsey McDermott, an architect from Dallas, has lost her entire family to a plane crash. I’m talking everyone, parents, grandparents, both siblings, siblings spouses and their children. Hannah Larson lost her husband to a fifteen month battle with a brain tumor. She watched her husband deteriorate as cancer ravaged his body. So when these two ladies meet, they have so much backstory and pain to navigate through.
The majority of the book is spent with Hannah’s son Jack, playing in the Frio River or a secret pond on the McDermott ranch. Lindsey meets Jack, and they see a bit of themselves in each other, grief recognizing grief. They fish, swim and enjoy summer, finally including Hannah on their adventures. That takes you through almost 75% of the book. After halfway, I could not see any way for these Hannah and Lindsey to have a romance. They do, but it feels less than and rushed.
I will continue to read every book Hill writes, this one just was not my favorite. It felt long, a bit repetitious and the romance felt like an afterthought.
3 out of 5 stars